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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Friday, December 07, 2007

Tired Of Sharecropping for TheGrowSpot.com

This post, "Tired of Sharecropping for TheGrowSpot", was written for my blogspot blog, The Transplantable Rose, by Annie in Austin. - Edited Friday night, 12/ 7/ 2007 with more information added at the bottom of this post.

Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening recently asked why there are so few older garden bloggers, with ‘older’ defined as over 70, close in age to her parents. In the course of this lively discussion a similar question was raised – where are the younger garden bloggers? To answer that question I added a comment that listed some garden bloggers who’d spoken about being under 35. I have those bloggers linked in my sidebar.

I was quite happy to tell people about those young garden bloggers and give them links, but I’m not happy to tell you about another young woman with a garden blog, the so-called “grow spot” – and I’m not giving her a link, because the garden blog she has is not her garden blog… it’s mine, and it’s Kim/BlackswampGirl’s Study in Contrasts garden blog, and it’s Kerri’s Colors of the Garden and Don’s Iowa Garden and Yolanda Elizabet’s Bliss Garden, Colin and Carol’s Mediterranean Garden, Green Thumb’s India Garden, Nicole’s Caribbean Garden, Deviant Deziner’s Garden Porn, Dawn’s Suburban Wildlife Garden, Sylvana’s Obsessive Gardener… and a lot more. At this site, our posts appear on a neutral background and the site uses the photos we have taken, reproduces our words, and gives the unlinked names of our blogs - but you have to read the whole page and then click ‘more’ to go to the bottom of another page before you find a link to the actual blog. Our sidebar links, icons, buttons, tags, archives, etc. do not appear, so when read at this heavily promoted site our posts are disconnected from the page we have made.

There’s a comment forum for signed-in members, and it appears that the commenters assume they are speaking directly to the authors. But I don’t think the real authors will get to read these comments unless they’re signed in at the forum, and I haven’t seen any answers from the actual authors on the forums.
Colin and Carol – do you know there are comments on your roadkill post at this grow spot site? Don in Iowa, did you know there’s a comment on your “In Praise of Disorder” post?

Maybe you do already know about this, and maybe some of you are okay with it… but I’m not okay with someone using my work to raise the number of hits, ride piggyback on my page rank and prevent readers from talking directly to me. We genuine authors sweat blood over our posts while this chick swipes someone else’s work, stuffs it into her little gated community and demands that readers sign up to get inside.

The garden bloggers that I know can tell you about their experiences and experiments in every kind of gardening, and we've become a large and loosely organized community. TheGrowSpot. com bills itself as "a gardening community with forums on Urban Gardening, Organic Gardening, Growing to Eat, and more. The Grow Spot is also resource for information on all sorts of garden plants, flowers, trees and all things that grow. No green thumb required!" How can a few individuals who reuse posts be considered a community? They have taken the content of real gardeners in order to repost it on their pages, plunking in their ads next to our words and images. And in the end, those ads, perhaps for products that we totally hate or object to, are the reason for the existence of the Grow Spot.

We real garden bloggers write about all sorts of garden plants, flowers, trees and all thinks that grow. But instead of saying “No green thumb required”, as does this scraper site, we say “Grow things and your thumb will turn green!” as you gain in experience.

I am also not happy with the person who apparently runs this Grow Spot [it’s smushed into one word with the and dot com added – if you want to see it, go ahead, but I’m not helping!]. She shows up as a 33-year old woman named LUBA SPICHKIN from Santa Monica, California. She wears size 7 shoes and likes music by the late Elliot Smith, And who knows – maybe she's some kind of a gardener, but not a genuine one. Instead of hoeing her own row, she looks for other gardeners who are weeding and planting their plots, then rushes in from behind, jumps on their backs, steps on their shoulders to reach over and grabs the harvest from the true gardeners’ hands.

And she’s just one of a hoard of bottom feeders. I feel sick at what has happened to many of the stolen and reblogged Garden Bloggers Book Club posts about Eleanor Perenyi and Green Thoughts… some of them link to porn.

Take a representative phrase out of one of your own posts and use an exact search to see what happens – you may have written those words but will you get credit? Your site may come up in the middle of the page and clicking on your words as reblogged by other sites may trigger the installation of spyware or worse.

I think this post will go out on the feed in its full size, but as bloggers like Carol of May Dreams have advised me to do, the next garden post will probably be in the preview size. I know it’s not convenient for some of you, but the barbarians are at the gates and since I don’t have a moat, the least I can do is take up the welcome mat.

[Many heartfelt thanks for technical assistance and editing advice go to the wonderful Mr Brown Thumb, who has opened my eyes to more than plants.

Edited, Friday night: Mr Brown Thumb has posted to explain the technical aspects of scraping and RSS feeds. Read this post and you'll understand why the arguments of the growspot owner are a smoke screen for what is really happening].

This post, "Tired of Sharecropping for TheGrowSpot", was written for my blogspot blog, The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.


  1. Annie, you've done a great public service posting this, though it makes me sick to think about it. I vaguely recall that this site's "author" might have emailed me asking for a link, but I was pretty sure I took one look and decided not to. But I did go to my blog and make sure, as normally sites like this one don't ask for links so I might have just reciprocated with a link like I usually do. Thankfully, I didn't.

    Now I know why you put the fine print at the top and bottom of each blog post. I think I'll do the same. It's a great idea.

    Now you understand why I no longer allow a full feed to be published in a feed reader.

    Wonder if she'll scrape this post and put it on her site?

  2. This is such a vexing problem, and it's sad to see the barriers of "security" rising higher and higher. I wish there was a better way to solve this than placing more restrictions on innocent people, but there just doesn't seem to be one.

  3. Annie, How awful! Too bad there is nothing we can do about this. I believe this thing about being connected to a porn site some way. Since I have been blogging I get porn emails. I get several per day. I don't know how to stop them. UGH I feel invaded.

  4. Annie,

    Looks like I was right and they aren't reading the post before they scrape it to their sight. The funny thing is that "Grow Girl" over there has replied to you, NOT on your blog where you would expect to get a reply to YOUR entry but on their forums.

    And get this, they're claiming that it is YOUR fault for publishing a feed and that they are doing YOU a service by including you because they're sending you traffic and linking to you.

    These people are utterly clueless or they're just that skeevy.

  5. This kind of stuff just drives me nuts! And the argument made on their part (which Mr. Brown Thumb mentioned above) that being pirated is YOUR fault for publishing a full feed is ridiculous. I've seen that argument a few times, and it never ceases to amaze me. It's like saying "Oh, yeah, I stole your new car, but it's your fault for buying it and driving it around where everyone could see it." What a load of garbage...

  6. Hi Carol - letting other people know what's happening is the only reason for me to talk about this. And I sure do see the reason for the shortened feeds!

    Entangled, greed is out there and it invades every aspect of our lives.

    Lisa, sorry you're feeling that way, and wish I could change it!

    Hi Mr Brown Thumb - it surprised me. That comment came here, but it's not publishable because instead of listening when I said I would not give the Grow Spot any links, the comment has several backlinks and invitations in addition to her specious arguments.

    Saying that my allowing RSS feeds means I am interested in syndication of my site is like saying the rape victim wore a skirt so she was asking for it!

    I have allowed RSS feeds so that my readers and friends and family will know when I make a new post -NOT so it will be syndicated and raise a Page Rank. I have nothing to sell and no ads - what matters Page Rank to me? But it does matter to them.

    Oh - an interesting new word! I must now go look up "skeevy".

    Thanks, guys - Annie

  7. Hi Annie,

    Gosh, the last few days have really made me sad about everything that has gone on....but I digress.

    Thanks for the informative postg. I wanted to let you know that those folks that truncate their blog may get less "bites", but I always go to their blog and read the post. ALWAYS. I completely understand and might bite the bullet myself soon to preempt this scourge of a human being from stealing my stuff to. All 5 visitors a day and all...

    Katie at GardenPunks

  8. Pam @ Digging says:

    I second what Katie says. If someone only allows a preview of their post in their feed, I happily go to their blog to read it. It only takes a second or two extra, and I hope for the same courtesy from others. Besides, that way you see the post as the author intended, on the site they've worked hard to make attractive.

    Did you happen to notice whether all the bloggers who were being scraped are publishing their entire post on their feed? Did anyone get scraped who allows only an excerpt?

    I find my excerpts scraped and reposted to fake blogs all the time. It's frustrating, but I don't know how to keep it from happening. At least the excerpt keeps them from getting my photos and the whole post. It takes a more deliberate thief to get those, but of course that happens now and then too.

  9. bill said

    how do you change your feed to summary?

  10. I had not seen the The Grow spot before. In a way I see their point. By publishing a syndication feed you are inviting people to use it. But the problem with their site is that they don't make it clear where the feed is coming from. I am not sure why they do it this way.

    I read your feeds in Bloglines, which also takes away all your formatting, but makes it clear where the feed is coming from.

    I haven't found any of my posts there but I just started looking .

  11. Annie,

    I'm about to get ready to blog about this problem but I just wanted to let you know to keep an eye on the backlink they created on your blog and delete it before it becomes too old to delete.

  12. Colleen your comment came in when mine did - and it's funny that your automobile analogy was more PG than the one that came to my mind ;-]

    Katie, I'll just have to hope that people will make that one extra click. You're joking about the 5 visitors, I'm sure!

    Hello Pam - a short feed has never stopped me! I want the whole experience, too.

    No - I didn't check on the feed length. Maybe that's a factor.

    I know it happens all the time, but I think the fake cameraderie gets me.

    Bill, in blogspot it's just one of the choices on our settings. We'll have to disagree on seeing any point to the Grspt!

    I use bloglines to tell me there's a new post, but seldom read the posts there, because you can't see the comments - for me the comments are an integral part of the whole blogging experience.

    Thanks for the notice Mr Brown Thumb - I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say.

    Thank you all for the comments,


  13. The GrowSpot person has sent me a couple of comments. I don't think they are factual, and although she says she sees my point, she missed it completely. This displeases me, but am not happy with censorship.

    I think it will work if I paste the notes in here without links so you can see her words.

    Message One "lulurose has left a new comment on your post "Tired Of Sharecropping for TheGrowSpot.com":

    Hi Annie! This is GrowGirl from The Grow Spot -- I completely hear your point, and I want to let you know our perspective on this.

    All we are doing is subscribing to your RSS feed. You are publishing an RSS feed for your blog. You have control over the amount of content that you are syndicating in your feed. RSS feeds are designed to help you distribute your content, and that's exactly what we feel we are doing. We are getting your content out in front of a wider audience, giving you attribution, and linking back to the original source.

    Your ranking in search engines like Google is heavily dependent on the inlinks you get, so in addition to sending more viewers to your site, we are effectively boosting your ranking in google.

    If you are unhappy about this, we are happy to stop including you in our free service; but if that's the case, you should think twice about publishing an RSS feed -- you are in effect saying you are interested in RSS based syndication of your content.

    As for other Garden Bloggers, we would gladly consider adding you to our site, please drop us a line (there is a contact us link in the footer of our site). If you are being included and wish us to remove your feed, just let us know and of course we will happily do so.

    We believe our site is a great place to gather and get inspiration for your garden, and we want to make it a safe and friendly place for everyone. We're sorry that we caused you to feel this way, and hopefully this helps explain things from our perspective.

    Yours is a great blog, otherwise we wouldn't have included it :)

    Message TwoLuba has left a new comment on your post "Tired Of Sharecropping for TheGrowSpot.com":

    Hi Annie,

    I did respond to your blog, not just on our website, but you chose not to publish it (you could have easily removed anything, such as link, that you had a problem with). I take your concerns seriously and have not avoided you as mrbrownthumb implies.

    Some bloggers are interested in syndication, others are not. Providing a full RSS feed implied to me that you were interested, but clearly I misunderstood your intentions.

    We will no longer include your blog, even though you have NEVER contacted us in any way or communicated with me about your concerns prior to unleashing your fury into the blogosphere and publishing personal tidbits about me such as my shoe size. Why this is relevant, I don't know...

    I am a rational personal and open to dialogue. I would have appreciated an email from you, so I could have heard your criticisms and had a chance to right what you perceive to be a wrong, before your launching an attack on me.

    While we will continue publishing hand picked blog content from around the web based on RSS feeds, if the concern is about improper attribution we're open to suggestions from the community to make it better."

  14. Well I've updated my post and included the email I received. I will say that I made the first comment without knowing that they had tried to leave a message here. As I said in my entry on the subject I completely understand you not publishing the comment as it had links and was worded like an advertisement.

    What I can't believe is how they think that because someone has an RSS feed the content somehow goes into the public domain where people like them can then profit from the content and on top of it all you have to contact them to make them stop.

    here's an idea

    You can prevent the "fury" being unleashed on you by simply asking people if they want to be part of having their blogs republished.

    Considering that they're using VBSEO I do not for one second buy that they don't understand what they are doing by duplicating content from other bloggers.

  15. Annie and all who are concerned about this: there are people who have written about this problem and the steps you can take to combat it. Lorelle VanFossen and Jonathan Bailey are two that come to mind. If you go to this list: http://www.yourbloghelper.com/gwa-handout/
    and look under the Copyright heading you will find several links to articles they have written. If you read the information over carefully you will learn the legal language to use, the documentation you should make, and how to go about filing a claim against a plagiarist. It has saved me a lot of grief to learn about it and I hope it will do the same for you.

  16. unleashing your fury into the blogosphere

    :lol: You go Annie!!!!!

    Mr. Brown Thumb was nice enough to alert me to another scraper site that both our blogs were on. It took a couple of emails with a little but nastier tone in each one to get it removed. Upon further investigation I found several sites that were using my feed without permission.

    I use Feedburner now and they have a 'unusual use' section where I found some of them. So far they have complied but one site started using the feed again a couple of weeks later.

  17. So what do you think of Stuart Robinson's new "Blotanical"? He's gone from providing a very cool service (The Garden Blogger Map) to running an rss feed with Google ads. Theoretically he's making money off my words where I am not (since I don't run ads...yet.) I'm dubious about this enterprise.

    And I also dislike his encouraging us to rank our favorites. I listed my favorites but his system makes me list one above the other--which is not how I feel about the blogs I read at all. I like you all for different reasons and would never choose one over another.

    I'm seriously considering opting out of Blotanical altogether.

    mss @ Zanthan Gardens

  18. Whoa! I just read the comment from the Grow Spot person. Jeez! I provide an rss feed (and use other people's rss feeds) so that I can track when people have updated their blogs. I use Bloglines(which doesn't display ads) to track blogs and when I see an update I go to the original site to read it.

    I do not provide an rss feed for people who want to run my content without attribution and make money off my words. As a writer, I find this practice even more disgusting than people stealing my photographs or bandwidth.

  19. Thursday was the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, Friday the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour. (Whoops, sorry, that should be Harbor.) And today, I go to catch up on my reading from the past couple of days, and find an explosion happening in the Blogosphere.

    My gardening hat is off to you, Annie, and to Mr. Brown Thumb, for alerting us to this mess and also to Kathy Purdy for giving us further explanations and options about how to prevent scrapers and other word-thieves.

    Yes, they are thieves. I may blog as a freebie (the seventeen cents I've made with Googleads just ain't gonna make me rich) but in my real work I am a fulltime freelance writer and I get paid for every word I write. And if someone was to take that work and claim it as their own, they would be stealing, just as if they climbed into my back yard and made off with my dawn redwood.

    I don't buy the grspt chick's explanation for a minute; mind you I don't profess to understand all the nuances of RSS feeds and the like, but neither do I write my blog so that some hack can take it and put it wherever she wants.

    So after some sleep, I can see I'll have some work to do! Let me help you release your Flying Monkeys ! :-)

  20. This is a persistent problem because the world is full of lazy greedy people. It is good that you did this post Annie so we can all make it more difficult for lazy greedy people to make a quick buck on other people's work.

    From the get go I put my feed on short because I knew about this problem. I also haven't really used any feed services to keep up with the blogs I read or added feed buttons to my blog, maybe from the laziness of trying to understand how it all works.

    To my knowledge I have not been plagerized to any great extent if at all, not nearly as much as you and Carol seem to get targeted. That may be because I get a lot fewer visitors and am less valuable or y'all are just more desireable writers and bloggers.

    I'll go check out MBT's post. We have to stay up to date and informed about these lazy greedy people.

  21. Gollee! Here I am in the middle of this as a complete luddite, and I had no idea this stuff was goingon or that it could be done at all. Of course, right away I did what Mr.BrownThumb suggested and found that my site is not being scraped. I am starting to wonder if this is just happening to people who are on blogger.com? Is it because you have tagged your blog with a subject on your profile page? It makes it easier for the scraper to find, along with other people who are looking for garden blogs. Anyway, on wordpress there is not that capability, so maybe that is why I haven't been scraped. Anyway, I have instructed the site to truncate my feed. I am not interested in having my writing plagiarized, and I can understand why you are all so upset about it. The people at GrowSpot are rationalizing their theft. I feel like there should be some way that people can go to the server that is hosting such a plagiaristic site and get it shut down.

    Anyway, thanks for such an informative and helpful bunch of posts and comments.

  22. Fear not, Annie--Miss GrowSpot
    will be eliminated in next day or
    two. (my cousin Vinny lives in Santa Monica and seems to have some
    way of dealing with computer fraud)

    Take heart,


  23. In addition to all the other stuff, when I went over to the growspot site to look it over, my computer was immediately attacked by a virus. Fortunately, it was one that Norton Antivirus recognized and dealt with immediately.

    One other thought. The person who posted her comment here said that they figured by you putting out an RSS feed it meant you wanted to be syndicated. That is like saying that if you publish a book and it is in the bookstores,you want it plagiarized. A columnist or cartoonist who is in syndication is paid by teh syndicate for their work. And any paper who runs that syndicated copy pays the syncidate for the privilege.

  24. Annie, you have got to be kidding! How low can they get? Blogging is free, it's fun, and there are so many intresting and informative blogs (like yours!) why would someone want to abuse that privilege?

    It takes all kinds, doesn't it? Good for you for posting this.

  25. This has unfortunately come up on garden blogs before and I'm certain it will again. There has been some discussion on the genealogy blogs about content theft also. You can shorten your feed but if you do will loose some readers that read from their feed reader only. I do that myself when I'm short on time but it will not stop me from coming back later, when I have more time. For now I am not willing to shorten my feed on Apple's Tree for this reason. If I find my content hijacked I'm certain my feelings would change. I am less concerned about maintaining readership on my other blogs as they are written for myself. For now I will be maintaining my feeds but I will pay more attention to be sure my content isn't profiting someone else.

    For now I have added a Creative Commons License 3.0 which clearly states that my content cannot be used for commercial purposes. I'm not sure it will stop a content thief but it is the best I can do right now.

  26. Maureen's cousin Vinnie Ha ha. Love it.

    Along those lines though and I think this is what Carol did about another thief, was to contact the company hosting the plagiarizing site. In the Napster music file sharing case, the courts found that Napster was liable for Copyright infringement as an accessory to the crime by enabling its users to break the law. (Layman's terms)

    Companies do not want to host sites that steal. They can be held liable. This may be the Gspot.

    Copyright ©2000 - 2007, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

    Not a bad days work for a bunch of Flying Monkeys.

  27. Your indignation is totally justified, in my opinion.
    I have never before heard her explanation for the purpose of an RSS feed. I don't buy it.

  28. Hi Christopher,

    You're right about the webhost but the copyright you posted is the one for the forum's software creators I believe. The website is hosted with GoDaddy and they have a form that people can use to contact them about website hosted with them that are taking material.

  29. Wow. I am amazingly unsavvy about these things... I admit it. I was amazed at how many of my posts that website has republished in their "blog forum" once I clicked around in there.

    Thanks for starting this discussion, Annie. And thanks to Christopher C, Kathy and Mr Brownthumb for some other technical insights. I feel like I need to go do some studying.

  30. If I remember correctly, someone previously appropriated your blog earlier this year? So this will be the second time this has happened. How were you able to resolve that conflict? People see it as a way to make money without working very hard. These aggregators just use other peoples material so they can make money when people click on the advertising. Unfortunately you easily create many blogs this way on many topics without having to do the work of writing the articles.

  31. I was recently made aware that my blog was being republished on another site and I felt violated. No permission asked. I feel your pain and thank you for an excellent blog post about this.

  32. Oh Annie...what is it with people trying to get something for nothing?? I mean, what kind of people think up these things?? I am very sorry this has happened to you. I have attempted to make some changes based on your and Mr. Brown Thumb's recommendations, but I may have just made a mess! Thank you for alerting us to the possibilities.

    Take care now.

  33. Holy cow! I had no idea someone was stealing my stuff. What a total bummer. Not sure what one does about this sort of thing. Thanks for the heads-up, Annie.

  34. Okay, I've just changed my feed to 'short'. I hope that helps. If there's anything else I need to do, please give me a shout. I'm still a terminal newby here and rather clueless about such things. Thanks again for letting me know this is happening, Annie. And thanks to others here who've offered additional suggestions.

  35. Thanks to all of you for responding - please keep checking with Mr Brown Thumb's very clear post [read all the comments, too!] as he keeps adding information.

    Kathy- Thanks for the link. I have a lot of reading to do, and at the wrong time to do it!

    DFP, it's good to know you've had some success. The need to go to short feed bugs me but it seems necessary.

    Oh no! MSS - this is not good news! It took a long time to get logged in because my mail program dumped all the Blotanical mail in the trash... by the time I entered a few of my favorite blogs, I had to leave and never got back....I HATE that the blogs are in some kind of rating/ranking system. After seeing your note I went to look and see that not only are they ranked, there's a Target ad in what's called Annie's Plot. This is NOT good news. I like Stuart but don't like these ideas. Thank you for clueing me in, MSS.

    As to the feeds, I also use Bloglines and also go to the original site.... how else could I read the comments?

    Hiya Jodi - thank you for the support and the fun comments...the Boston Tea Party anniversary comes up in a week - but maybe in the interest of Canada/USA relationships we'll let that one slide past!

    It does seem as if Greed is the motif for this decade so far, doesn't it Christopher?

    I never actually realized that your blog is on short feed, duh. This precaution must be the reason you are okay - believe me- you are a wonderful blogger/writer, so it's not that!

    HealingMagicHands, content appropriation is an ongoing problem, but this time it's done by someone who claims altruistic reasons for synthesizing a site as an ad platform.

    Dawn and I have 'garden' in our profiles, but others don't and still were taken... you seem to be right that we're all using Blogspot. Thanks for the ideas.

    Maureen - this is a movie-related joke, right!

    Hello again HealingMagicHands - oh great... I'm glad you caught the virus fast. And thanks for adding more ideas to the conversation.

    Josie, whenever some people see a chance for money they swoop down - and gardeners use products so were targeted. It would be very hard to target your fans - we're a very mixed crew!

    Hi Apple, the feed suggestion came up awhile ago, but I knew I had people who only used feeds - maybe it's easier for dial-up or something? Thanks for the link ... another thing I need to learn about!

    Hi again Christopher - "Gspot", heh, heh. I'll let you and
    Mr Brown Thumb talk about the copyright part.

    Anna Maria - I think Mr Brown Thumb has a much more accurate one in his post!

    BlackswampKim, I hoped you see it after there were some suggestions on what to do about it! Dawn has put the fineprint tag on her blog and shortened it.

    Ki, it's an ongoing problem. Some sites are up for awhile then disappear. I think they take the words more as filler to make it look like a real blog.

    This site took the bloggers' work and their accumulated readership to make themselves come up high on searches. Titles of our posts came up at Gspt above the original author in google searches, and those searches are one way newer gardeners find their way into the community of garden bloggers. These potential new friends were ushered into the anteroom without knowing there was a a whole world of garden bloggers waiting to meet them.

    Hello Kylee - you're welcome... but wish no one had to write or read about it!

    GottaGarden, thanks for the sympathy - and I hope those changes keep your words and photos a little safer, too!

    Oh, Dawn - I hope you can get them to take your blog off their site! Mr Brown Thumb is the one to thank for suggestions - he's so knowledgeable!

    Thanks everyone - if anyone is old enough to remember the desk sergeant on Hill Street Blues - "Let's Be Careful Out There".


  36. Hi everyone,
    I suggest you contact Adsense - they do say they'll take the ads away from anyone infringing copyright. I'm not sure whether that still holds if you're acknowledged though. It happened to me with material from another site I publish on, which was being republished without any acknowledgement at all, as if it were the author's own work. That did get the steam coming out of my ears.
    If sites do acknowledge the source - and I am on a couple, (check if you are - http://thegardeningview.com/ www.megite.com/gardening, ) I personally feel a bit less hot under the collar. Especially if they don't publish the whole article but just a teaser and send you to the blog for "more". It's really much like Garden Voices which also carries advertising. Except of course with the crucial difference that GV is your own choice. And that's the daft thing. In most cases with these summarising sites, if they asked I might well say yes. It's not being asked that is so irritating.

  37. I totally agree with SueSwift about contacting Adsense to complain. I plan to do the same ASAP.

    Since GrowSpot.com won't allow me to log-in and make a comment and since I imagine 'Luba Spichkin' is paying a good deal of attention to this blog article as well as Mr. Brown Thumb's, I'll say it here:

    Luba Spichkin, please remove all of my blog content from GrowSpot.com. You do NOT have permission to steal my blog words or photos. Remove it all now and cease printing my content in the future. Thanks.

    Geez, this woman really knows how to put the 'rape' is scrape. Grrr...

  38. Bloggers have to decide whether they want strangers to read their posts or not. If you make your living this way, when another blogger steals your posts, they're robbing you.

    On the other hand, if you like to swap and share gardening stories and tips, then it doesn't matter. Give and take involves giving AND taking.

    I like the anarchy of the web. I also like the solidarity you have inspired in genuine bloggers vs. faux bloggers.

  39. Thanks for the heads-up on this blog thief! I'll have to see if anything of mine has been misappropriated.

  40. Annie,

    Well, interesting to here my weensy blog has been hijacked, too (i don't know whether to be indignant or feel sorry for them that they have to purloin such small potatoes).
    I just today got an e-mail from Luba (GrowGirl) asking for my e-mail address, but her address is not valid, and when I try to go to her website I end up on a Viagra site (which tells me a lot about what type of person we're apparently dealing with). It's bad enough that my garden has weeds... now my blog does, too.

  41. Annie, I received an e-mail just today from Luba Spichkin but haven't yet answered it. I went to Grow Spot but couldn't find any of my posts (didn't sign in). I had very limited time to look so will have to go back.
    Coincidently, I read Apple's latest post tonight (and had growing suspicions), which pointed me to yours. It was an aha moment! Thanks for the heads up.
    I'll also read Mr. Brown Thumb's article and will take some action from there.
    There seems to be very little respect or good manners when a site uses your material without asking. How hard would it be to ask permission first? Asking after the fact is not the way it should be done!
    Thanks for this very informative post.
    Size 7 shoe eh? Chuckling here :)

  42. I can't answer the latest notes right now - the address on the note she sent was


    I have no idea if it's valid.

    Thanks for the comments!


  43. Chigiy at Gardener’s Anonymous said:

    This B____ makes my skin crawl. I was scraped a few months ago by some stupid blog called Content Delights. They even stole pictures of my kids on vacation. Freaks. I started splitting up my posts after I was ripped off. I have no idea if it has worked or not.
    Elise at Simply Recipes said that if your content is good you will be scraped on a regular basis.
    So you could always look on the bright side.
    Your content is great. And when you publish a post on cyber theft you always get a lot of hits.
    Sorry about this low-life thief.

  44. This sort of thing is why I check in with Technorati a few times a month. I had discovered one of my posts on a blog in complete German language - my photos and words translated, and it boasted ads for Viagra, etc. Another I found on a travel blog. I get so fed up with it.

    I appreciate your "heads up", Annie!

  45. I've been quite busy last week so imagine my shock when I read all this, Annie. First off: commisserations my dear on this happening to you again! Grrrrrrr!

    I'm not amused to find that it has happened to many of my fellow garden bloggers whose blogs I read and enjoy so much. And then I find that my blog has been ripped off too. I received an e-mail from this person requesting my permission to _ continue_ stealing my content. Well duh, of course not.

    So thanks for the heads-up Annie and the excellent post you wrote about these erm people and what they do with so many of our garden blogs!

  46. It is awful that there are people who piggyback someone else's effort and toil for cheap gains. But for your effort, dear Annie, I would have never known that something of this sort is happening in gardening blog world. I hope that wise counsel prevails on the copycats and they learn a thing or two about the fun and satisfaction of being original.

  47. Dear Annie!

    Yolanda Elizabeth from Bliss contacted me and pointed out tht my garden blog is featured on this strange growspot side, too. I knew this before from my sitemeter but due to the lack of thime, I did not react so far. Then, I the beginning of this week, I got a comment from a stranger who wanted to get in touch with me but could not find my mail address on my blog. It turned out to be this LUBA SPICHKIN, asking me for permission to re-load my posts on her blog. I did not answer so far but I will now after I read your post here.

    I just wonder: have you all been contacted by LUBA SPICHKIN this week, too?


  48. Yolanda wrote about this site and I visited the blog. Well, I couldn't find any of my blogs content or pictures. But I'll check from time to time..
    Thank you very much for writing about TheGrowSpot.com
    cheers from Canada

  49. Shocking! To say the least. I am a newbie in the gardening world -- I chose to invest time to this hobby bc for some random reason I thought it and the people who love gardening were (perhaps) a bit more tranquil--much like the hobby. I WAS EXCITED!
    Btw this, the battle btw Dave & GardenWeb and the snippy remarks on GardenWeb (not on my own posts--yet), I just really wonder if I want to blog or become involved in the internet aspect of it all.
    CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET A LONG, be nice, respectful, be friends and write our own blogs? BLAH.
    ~A saddened new gardener in Austin

  50. Hi Casa Martin!

    Please don't be discouraged. Most of the garden bloggers are wonderful people; especially the Austin Garden Bloggers, many of whom I've had the good fortune to meet. If you've spent any time at all at Annie's site here you'll see what a kind-hearted lady she is. Pam at Digging is another talented and helpful lady. From what I've garden blogging it's all about the gardening and sharing. Snipping is extremely rare. So please keep blogging and for heaven's sakes check your blog comments because I tried to make a comment on your beautiful blog last night. ;-)

    Take care!
    Dawn at Suburban Wildlife Garden

  51. I've seen my content scraped too, and I don't even use RSS! People will just do what they want, I guess :(

  52. "I'm about to get ready to blog about this problem but I just wanted to let you know to keep an eye on the backlink they created on your blog and delete it before it becomes too old to delete."

    Which black link is that? can someone pleaase clarify?

    Wallpapers of Ayesha Takia


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